La Gran Muralla, a genuine Celtic hero


Fraser Forster had a daily routine which verged on OCD.  He rose at 6:00, ate his first meal of the day, drove to Lennoxtown (while eating six pancakes, as it happens), then worked-out in the gym.  He stopped for ‘breakfast’ with the rest of the team, his third intake of the day, before training started at 10:00.

After training the players take lunch, then head home.  Fraser stayed, back to the gym, or some specialist work with goalkeeper coach Stevie Woods, before heading home at 16:30.  He was first to arrive and last to leave, every day.

This was his routine, broken only something as rare as a dentist visit.  Every biological and fitness measurement was documented with improvements targeted.

Years ago, he decided he was going to this year’s World Cup.  The personal relationship, which took visits to London to maintain, was put on hold.  The visits interrupted the work schedule for two days, which he couldn’t afford.

There is a reasonable chance that he put more work into his game than any player in Celtic history, the contrast with some would anger you.  The results were remarkable.  Fraser transformed from a rough stone into the only man in the England World Cup squad not to play in their feted league.

Much of this was as a result of the meeting of minds he had with Stevie Woods.  Stevie completely changed Fraser’s game, set career targets with him and planned how to reach them.  I could make a good case that Woods is one of the leading goalkeeping coaches in Europe.  He created one of the greatest keepers in Britain and will do so again.

On a personal level, he is everything you would want a Celtic player to be, had time for kids, time for fans.  He graduates from Celtic as a credit to our club.  We want more like this.

While I’ll have genuine regret if he goes, the axiom of the ages remains true, we manage our assets, or we fail to manage our assets.  If we have £10m to add to or deny the budget, it should not be tied up in a goalkeeper.

So good for Celtic, but it’s left me with a problem.  I’ve a nine-year-old who eats, sleeps, talks and, most of all, dreams, Fraser Forster.  Hero worship has never been so intense, so I’ll delay wishing the big guy well, just in case….

Just so you know, Maribor would put us out if we played them this week.  Don’t go dreaming of Champions League football yet.

Still cannot believe what happened yesterday.

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  1. Steinreignedsupreme on

    Good luck to big Fraser.



    Probably the best Celtic goalkeeper in my time watching the team.

  2. Thank you Fraser “La Gran Muralla”


    You won my heart the day you saved the penalty against the diet huns.



    May your future be blessed

  3. • ElDiegoBhoy


    12:04 on 9 August, 2014


    Welcome back Big Joe.


    Thanks mate……………. Long-time no see.



    I hope that you are well……………………….



    BigJoewishing ElDiegoBhoyAllTheBEST

  4. Sannabhoy


    Late with the name tags?…away and geez peace.



    If you could confirm the bank details and the seat price for the weans are same as last year please




  5. Afternoon Timland from a hot hun free mountain valley.



    And there you have the problem wraped up for all to see.



    Big Fraser was last to leave at 16.30.



    Most teams on the continent are only half way through their daily routine at half past 4.



    And we wonder why we are not fit enough, don’t have the tech ability.



    Paul has just laid out what I have been saying for years.




  6. Ohhhh and for some strange reason I enjoyed your half-time routine with Steve Woods.


    Who never had to move to catch the ball you kicked back to him,you could have dropped the ball in a bucket from 50yards.


    Before you leave can you text him and ask him to show our forwards how to stand in space to receive the ball from the keeper.

  7. Paul……………………………………………67



    Question……………………. ?



    Why don’t Celtic make / persuade all the Players to follow a FF model.



    Make them go to the gym, extra training, whatever it takes.



    They get paid enough………………………………..



    What’s your thoughts mate. ????????????????????




  8. Paul you said that the arrival of Craig Gordon was not meant to be ease the departure of FF. Does that mean that you believe Celtic will sign a goalkeeper with first team experience


    Taking into account that none of goalkeepers have played very few competitive games in 3 years



    Seems the zakuski will do brigade have their wish

  9. Bid rejected for Callum McManaman


    Would be pleased if we got him. Any time i have seen him play gives 100% and a threat. Yes from me if we can get him



  10. darwinsbeautifulidea on

    This down to our crap board,the big said he was willing to stay at the club as were ledley and samaras ,but the board wanted to flog them bring in inferior or no repacements


    For ledley we got johannsen a much inferior player at no doubt about half the wages,and for forster we get a crocked hun ,who dived at tynecastle in an attempt to stop us winning the league,and still not even a sign of a replacement for samaras


    it makes you sick

  11. Can’t say I know much about Maribor but you have to be careful of just looking at results. They beat Wigan 2-1 but Wigan had a player sent off and a penalty given for quite a harsh hand-ball. The arms did go up but only as the player jumped to try to block a shot. 2-1 at home with one a penalty and against 10 men doesn’t look as good as just beating a Championship side…



    They’re results against Sevilla, or how close they came is impressive. They are a team we really should be beating, a team we should be favourites against, but given how poor we were, we aren’t. But we can’t be as bad as we were against Legia.

  12. the glorious balance sheet on




    Interesting insight into the unseen work that goes on in the background to shape what we see on the pitch.



    The goalkeeper is fortunate in that as their position is so specialised they benefit from intensive one on one coaching in a way in which the strikers, midfielders, defenders cannot.

  13. Captain Beefheart on

    Paul67, good afternoon,



    Does your ‘the contrast with some would anger you’ comment refer to the now? If so, why are Celtic tolerating the boozers, losers and unprofessional dossers?



    Get rid of them and make the rest train more. We need to maximise every advantage possible.

  14. hooptastic


    12:17 on 9 August, 2014



    Calum McManaman will be this summer’s sob story. We tried but……………..

  15. the glorious balance sheet on




    Agreed. Judging teams on Europa League exploits is fraught with danger – the disregard with which English and Italian teams treat the group stages is such that it is impossible to get a clear handle on a team`s ability based on Europa League group stage performance alone.

  16. Sannabhoy and 2000 kids say Hail Hail to Pablo’s family




    22:12 on 8 August, 2014




    The Kano Foundation Bucket Collection 2014



    Folks as you may remember , we set out an ambition/hope to try to minimise the amount we imposed on the fans while maximising the return . For that reason , we try to only reach out with the begging bowl a couple of times a year – well next Sunday is one of those times .



    For the 2nd year in a row , we’ve obtained the collecting licence for the environs around Celtic Park for the flag raising day . As a result , we need to ask for help for volunteers to help with the collection next Sunday 16/8.



    Because of the early kick-off, we need to ask for volunteers/helpers from 10:00 am .. If you can help ,either with the collection or with the counting afterwards [after the game obv ], please drop a line to bucketcollection@thekanofoundation.com including your name , address , dob and whether you can do before the game or help with the count afterwards.



    As an added incentive , you’ll get a kano t-shirt and free entry into the Kano Karaoke we are holding in Arena from 7pm after the game.



    Anyone else is welcome to attend (5gbp entry fee).



    For anyone attending the game , please bring along your loose change – we averaged 10p per fan last year – a repeat of that would be great .



    Hail Hail




  17. • Hooptastic


    12:17 on 9 August, 2014


    Bid rejected for Callum McManaman


    Would be pleased if we got him. Any time i have seen him play gives 100% and a threat. Yes from me if we can get him






    Think they would want 6 or 8 million for Callum McManaman



    We should be looking firther afield………………….



    England is overpriced…………………….




  18. The Battered Bunnet on

    No issue with big Fraser moving on, and the fee sounds reasonable.



    He’s spent 4 years at Celtic, worked his backside off, played magnificently, and developed into a top class keeper.



    4 years is a good length of time for a player to hold down a first team position at Celtic. It’s feels about the right length of time to complete the development cycle, and allows for continuity one season to the next.



    A manager can plan on a 4 year player cycle.



    Had we managed Wanyama through that period, things would be a little different. Similarly, Hooper went a year early.



    The notion that van Dijk is moving anywhere anytime soon is destructive.



    Good luck Fraser

  19. The Battered Bunnet on

    mullet and co from last thread



    Don’t know where to go with that. Desmond will get whatever someone pays him in the event that he decides to sell his shares.



    It’s worth pointing out that his Convertible Preferred Ordinary Shares can be converted to Ordinary shares at the ratio of 1:2. Were he to do this, he would add 16m new Ord shares to his holding, giving him 42% of the voting rights. I’m sure he will do this in due course, but it reflects poorly on the shareholder democracy envisaged by Fergus.



    If he punted the lot at today’s price he’d get something in the order of £30M. Tomorrow’s price? Who knows. I doubt he’ll sell until either we are playing in a new environment – which will see a spectacular rise in value – or when he finally concedes that we’re going nowhere and is tired of the ‘project’.



    As for Nick Train, haven’t a Scooby what the deal is beyond the fact that his investment firm bought another chunk of Ordinary shares that pay no dividend. He could be buying on his own account, or as a proxy for someone else. Certainly he’s held a fair chunk of ordinary shares for a number of years and has yet to crack a light about anything Celtic in public. Looks like a wee punt on the part of someone who figures that there’s money to be made downstream.

  20. Miku and falconer better strikers than what we have…..



    The yahoos are out in force

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